Where do people get schooled in common sense?
I don’t find common sense to be that common. Okay, let me just confess that I find myself gullible and naive more often than I need be. And I don’t think of myself as a practical guy either.
I see the world as a place of new possibilities and unpredictability, and I dislike being in the driver’s seat or controlling time, things, or other people. Then I get called on it– that everyone has control issues.
Thinking back my educational life, there were many courses on reading, writing, and arithmetics. And there was a mix of science classes about how things work in the created world, history classes about what has happened in generations before us, and in higher ed, more specialized knowledge imparted in political science, communications, philosophy, sociology, theology, technology, law, medicine, economics, engineering, arts, architecture, music, business, and so on.
Notably absent: every day life in the areas of relationships, personal finances, housekeeping, using tools, cooking, life management. Let’s assume these topics don’t belong in academia, where topics of studies are mostly cognitive. If not in schools, then where do people learn this stuff of life?!
I can think of a few: at home, from media like television and movies, and how-to books.
In the world we live in, be it America or elsewhere, broken homes and domestic messiness, home doesn’t seem to be the best place to learn good things. Movies and television aim at entertainment, whether sensationalism to feed our warped sense of curiosity or storytelling about the human condition.
Maybe this is why book series like Idiot’s Guides, Books for Dummies, How-to books for do-it-yourselfers, and self-improvement take up more shelf space in bookstores and libraries. Books written by self-proclaimed experts.
The source of common sense remains a great mystery… God help us all.